The Rising Antenna
- A Waggler Man's Journey -
Buy the Book

About the Book

Book Image

The ‘Rising Antenna’ title emerged from one of the rarer bite types that occur on a waggler float. When fishing competitions on his favourite River Witham, the author noted how the float would fully settle with only a fraction of the tip left showing on the surface, only for a fish to take the bait and rise up in the water. This lifted the bottom shot, and the float would rise slowly as a consequence. Very often such a bite produced the best roach of the day.

The book consists of two halves. Chapter One starts by explaining the benefits of a day spent at the waterside. Jim then charts the history of the waggler float from humble beginnings up to when peacock quill was discovered as the ideal float material, and explaining how its name was coined back in the 1960s when a Lancastrian noted how it waggled when hanging from the line upside down.

Jim’s ‘Personal Journey’ chapter describes a lifetime’s experience of fishing the waggler, and his experiments with different designs for fishing both rivers and lakes. From early struggles at gin clear Damflask Reservoir, he improved and developed his own floats that served him well in winning matches on all kinds of venues. Float-making and other techniques are also covered.

Part Two introduces Jim’s contributors from the world of match angling. Included are England Internationals and River Trent aces, John Dean and Dave Thomas, along with Witham wizards Dave Ashmore and Roger Wakenshaw, former Fish’O’Mania champion Warren Martin on pellet waggler, and the young star of England World Youth squads, Matt Godfrey writing about the slider.

Jim says in his introduction that ‘enthusiasm’ is the word that he believes he and his anglers promote in the book. He is fascinated by the fact that angling can never be fully mastered because every day and set of conditions is different, and the fish do not always conform to human expectations. Maybe this uncertainty is what draws them back for more day after day, season upon season.

Featured Themes

  • Light or heavy shotting - what is an average pattern?
  • Sensitivity and dotting the float down
  • Floats to use for casting 15-20 yards?
  • What to look for in a rod and reel
  • What makes a good waggler float?
  • The lines and hooks required for catching roach successfully
  • Line stretch and the elastic shock absorber
  • Fine lines and why they are important
  • The correct way to hook a maggot
  • Baits to suit waggler fishing
  • Avoiding the dreaded ‘bumping’ of fish on the strike
  • Feeding the swim, do’s and don’t’s
  • Catapults and throwing sticks
  • The long drop
  • The twitch



'Got my copy, it's unputdownable. Written by a professional who also had and equal angling ability. Jim has a match record that made my jaw drop when I read it. However, the book gets into the minds of some of the greats of match fishing, and in a leisurely sort of way, optimistic way, lays bare the essence of fishing the waggler. 375 pages, it's massive compared to any other fishing book I've come across. A must buy for Christmas which will take anyone until Spring to digest. It doesn't dwell in the past though, it's current, and relevant, and particularly modern in layout, and can only make you look at those dusty old wagglers again with a sense of reverence and excitement.'

003003 on Maggot Drowners forum

'That's it, I have read the book and shall be at a loss now, as I really enjoyed it. A fantastic read, and they say you cannot teach an old dog 'new tricks'? Well I can dispel that right away, for I am excited, enthusiastic, and cannot wait to put into practice some of the many things in the book from different contributors.'

Roly Moses, contributor

About the Author

Author Image

Float fishing with a waggler has fascinated Jim Baxter for over 40 years and is the central theme of this book. Jim and his contributors from the world of match angling explain how to get the best out of the method on river or lake.

The Rising Antenna also recounts Jim’s early struggles at Damflask Reservoir, before showing promise on the float that was formerly called a peacock, to it becoming the match-winning waggler it is today. The float’s development is interwoven with memories of the halcyon days with the friends and rivals he met along the journey. Jim’s prime hope for the book is that it might encourage younger anglers to think there is life beyond the popularity of long pole and feeder on carp lakes, and to take their imaginations to roach, chub, tench and other species.

Jim got a start in angling journalism with a short column in Barnsley Chronicle newspaper, moving on to work for Angling News Services, writing for his local Sheffield Star evening paper and the now defunct Coarse Angler magazine. He later edited three monthly magazines: Angling Monthly, Bank Talk and Angling Star respectively, and the latter ran for 18 years up to 2012.

Jim and wife Lynne have two daughters, Frances and Sophie, and live in South Yorkshire.

Where to Buy

Books can be purchased from Calm Productions, by phone or online at

Telephone orders call
0208 320 3886
0845 408 2606

You can also purchase the book through

Contact the Author

If you have any queries about the book, for example if you have noticed any waggler topic that you think is not covered as fully as it might be, then please contact us on the form below: